The 49th Annual Awards Celebration was truly a night to remember as Sportswomen of Colorado honored high school National Players of the Year, collegiate National Champions, Academic All-Americans, professional MVPs, World Champions, coaches with 800+ wins, and an organization which led the movement to create over 500 sports opportunities for girls.
There were over 400 people in attendance as 9NEWS Sports Reporter Arielle Orsuto kicked off the night welcoming everybody and highlighted the impact Board of Director and treasurer, Lynn Barczuk, has made to Sportswomen of Colorado for over 20 years.
Evergreen High School native Tanya Haave provided the keynote address with an inspirational message about her career and those women who have impacted her path, which included her mother, as well as, Pat Summit. Tanya talked about her journey at the University of Tennessee and what made Pat Summit so special as a coach and as a person. Tanya left the honorees with a welcome into the Sportswomen of Colorado Whakapapa which in Māori culture refers to the transgenerational legacy that links the past to the present and helps shape the future. She challenged the group by saying “now you have a greater purpose to create growth and opportunity for the future, so continue to push the boundaries of excellence.”
The Denver Broncos Sideline Reporter and DJ at 103.5 The Fox, Susie Wargin presented the awards as she highlighted the amazing accomplishments of each honoree. The night started out with 12-year old Ava Keenan’s accomplishments as a young mogul skier as she took home the Most Promising Award. It concluded with a standing ovation for volleyball player, Zoe Rollins from Thompson Valley High School, who won the Inspiration Award for all that she has overcome after a car accident left her paralyzed. Coaches Tom Hilbert, Shannan Lane, and Damon Martin all received awards for their work in mentoring young people, and Professional Athlete of the Year Sophia Smith was honored for her MVP performance with the NWSL, Portland Thorns.
One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Sportswoman of the Year Award, which goes to the Colorado female athlete that excels at the highest level. This year’s award was presented to Westminster native and LPGA golfer, Jennifer Kupcho, for her outstanding performance. She finished the year ranked as the number one American on the tour, and the number six player in the world during 2022. She won her first major at The Chevron Championship and also won two other tournaments. Jennifer spoke about the term that most defines her career, “resiliency.”
What a superb celebration of our Colorado female athletes and coaches! We hope you will join us next year as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Sportswomen of Colorado.